Have You Met?

The heavens must have opened up when Monica Owens was born, and Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens and First Lady Frances Owens, Monica’s parents, would more than likely agree. The classically -angelic looking beauty has become one of Denver’s most loved and recognizable figures; and right up front, let’s say she needs to be given credit for all she’s accomplished with her life on her own efforts.

Politically savvy and highly intelligent, Monica has already held some exceptional jobs: Right after college, she started working for Phase Line Strategies – a political consulting firm.  She then moved to D.C. to work for former V.P. Dick Cheney while he was in the White House.  Through the years, Monica has also been actively involved in the campaigns of John McCain, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, John Suthers and Pete Coors - among others.

Although Monica loved living in Washington D.C. during her time as Dick Cheney’s Scheduler, she really missed her family and Colorado.  Monica came back home to once again work for the Phase Line Strategies team, where she specialized in local and state government affairs, political fundraising and event planning.  She then moved on to work for the Starboard Group before venturing out to open her own company  - Owens Public Affairs.

She’s one of Denver's most respected “Young Professionals,” and Monica is totally invested in her community.  Monica has already made her mark in the nonprofit world as a board of trustee member of the Colorado Ballet, a board member of the Political Organization of Women Republicans (POWR), and a board member of Cancer League of Colorado.  Monica has done missionary work at an orphanage in Nicaragua, and she’s been involved with many charitable groups such as Volunteers of America, the Denver Health Foundation, the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association, Tennyson Center, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Mount Saint Vincent Home – and the list keeps growing.

As one of the youngest Colorado delegates, at 25, to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention, she shined bright with her energy and enthusiasm.  Owens is once again a national delegate to the RNC this year. She was 10th out of over 800 vying to go.

Monica has exceptional follow-through and does what she says she will do.  Brian Watson who is a Colorado House District 3 candidate to represent the citizens of Littleton, Englewood, and Greenwood Village at the Colorado State House of Representatives in the November election - and has been working with Monica on his campaign - had these glowing words to say: “Monica is a consummate professional, who is well organized and extremely effective in her work. She cares about her community, and helps to make Colorado an even better place to live.” 

With more than 10 years to go before she turns 40, Monica was given the “Forty Under 40 Award” this year by the Denver Business Journal.  Her nomination form read: “Monica Owens rises to the top of exemplary leadership and commitment to her profession and community.  She comes to her pursuits with a natural ease, but then brings her own charm and intellect to achieve success.”

Monica who speaks with her mom, former first lady, Frances Owens several times a day says: “My mom is the the best! So kind and generous;  I don’t think my mom has a mean bone in her body.”  All who know Frances concur.   

With Monica’s welcoming smile and warmth – this dynamic lady is on fire!  Monica Owens continues to be a star on the rise with no burnout in sight.

What has been your most valuable experience in the political arena over the last several years?  I think my time as a scheduler for Vice President Cheney at the White House was the most valuable political experience I’ve had thus far in my career.  I began at the White House at 22 as an intern, and then at 23, as a staff member, where I helped plan the Vice President’s travel to the Middle East.  Having such an immense responsibility at such a young age was exciting and yet daunting.  It also gave me perspective on the enormity of the position and how hard our elected officials work each and every day.  There is never a “day off” in the life of the President or Vice President.   We owe them so much respect.
Tell us about your new company?  After working for numerous political and non-profit clients, I decided that it was time for me, in the great tradition of American entrepreneurship, to venture out on my own.   I began Owens Public Affairs in January of this year, so it’s definitely in its infancy stages!  Owens Public Affairs is a consulting firm, which specializes in corporate, government and political affairs, as well as event planning services for both political candidates and non-profit organizations.

Monica, what projects have you been working on lately?
With regard to client projects, I have been fundraising for Brian Watson, who is running in House District 3 (he’s really a rising star in the GOP) and I am also working with Senators Bill Cadman and Mark Scheffel to get Republicans elected to the State Senate in November.  Some of my volunteer time this spring has been spent working with Bessie’s Hope, Developmental Pathways and the Mitt Romney for President campaign.
What is your favorite magazine? 
I  hate to admit it, but my guilty pleasure is reading People
Magazine (normally when I am at the hair salon)!

Favorite Book:  The Great Gatsby, which I hear is being made into a movie here soon!

Movie:  My favorite movie is “The American President.”  It touches my heart and my business side as well.

Place to Shop for Clothes: Online: Lilly Pulitzer (eventually I would love to open a Lilly Pulitzer store in Denver), In-Store: J Crew
Places to hang out with friends:  I love going to Wash Park with my friends (and my dog Leon).  There is always so much energy at the park!  I also really enjoy going to dinner with friends, particularly at Carmine’s on Penn or La Loma.

Decadent dessert: Cinnamon ice cream from Bonnie Brae Ice Cream Shop, or a cinnamon crumb donut from Winchell’s Donut House!
Are you an - Early Riser or Night Owl?  Definitely a night owl – as I am working on these questions at 11:58pm!
What is your favorite saying or quote?  "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different," ~ CoCo Chanel
What is something no one knows about you?  That I used to twirl the baton competitively!
What do you consider your greatest strengths?  The ability to organize and bring the right people to the table.

You are very close with your parentsAside from them, whom do you consider a hero or mentor?  One of my heroes is my good friend, Carolina, who is also the mother of my goddaughter, Bella.  As a single mother, Carolina juggles three very active children (ages 2½, 13 and 16), works almost full-time and does everything else in-between. Amidst the chaos, she never complains about anything and is always willing to help those in need.  She remains calm and positive no matter what circumstances arise, and for that, I consider her one of my heroes.  
What do you think is the biggest difference between a young woman growing up in today’s world from the time your (fabulous) mom was growing up?  Technology!  I cannot fathom what life would be like without cell phones, the Internet, or keyless entry on cars!   We are now so much more connected than when my mom was growing-up.  

I also think more young business people are involved in the community at more in-depth levels than they were when my mom was growing-up.  I think my generation feels that they are more responsible for community needs, which I think is a really good thing.
What can be done to make politics in this country less divisive?
I think that we, as voters, need to punish candidates who run negative campaigns.  This might sound harsh, but I think that when we start to hold them to that standard, we will have more positive discussion during election season.
Would you like to run for a political office someday?  Possibly, in the future, if the right seat were to open up and the timing was right for me and my family.
How about being the first woman President of the United States?  Vice President?   Right now, it’s not in my plans (ha ha).  Though, I would like to see Condi Rice as VP!
With so many nonprofits in town, how does one decide what to personally support?  It’s always difficult to pick and chose between one great organization and another.  I try and support my friends in their efforts, as well as those organizations, which touch my heart.  Right now I am really focusing my own efforts with Developmental Pathways, Cancer League and the Colorado Ballet.
Do the ups and downs of our recent economy concern you? Of course, the economy concerns me.  Starting a new business is a scary undertaking, especially when the economy isn’t what it used to be.   I think that I am at the age where I am personally affected, and my friends are hurting, it’s an important reminder of why our decisions this November are so critical to our future.
What would be a dream-come-true for you, and what adventures are you looking forward to in the future?  A dream-come-true, which might not be that far in the future (fingers crossed), would be attending Mitt Romney’s Presidential Inauguration in January 2013.  Having attended both of President George W. Bush’s Inaugurations, it’s an unbelievable experience .

My dream for the future is to get married and raise my children in a turn-of-the-century red brick Victorian home near Wash Park or Cheeseman Park, while working in politics (in some fashion), and having my parents and brothers close by.

I would also love to travel!  I have been to some random countries – Oman with Vice President Cheney, on a mission trip to Nicaragua and to Ukraine with my dad.  I would like to go to Italy and Ireland, and trace my family history, as well as to Russia with my dad, who is a Russian scholar.  Dad, if you are reading this, get the hint and take your kids!!!